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Clinton in Iowa: Setting Expectations

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) makes her first trip to Iowa in more than three years this weekend, traveling to that most influential of states when it comes to presidential politics.

A schedule sent out by her campaign earlier today that shows a total of five events during the visit -- two "house-party style" events, a town hall meeting, a meeting of the Iowa Democratic Party Central Committee and a press availability.

So what should we expect out of this visit? Not all that much.

Clinton's people are purposely -- and smartly -- limiting the media throng so that she can have some semblance of a normal conversation with Iowa voters. Only her town hall meeting and the press availability are open to all members of the media; the house parties and the Iowa Democratic Party gathering will be covered pool-style -- one national and one local reporter will be allowed into the room and they will be tasked with filing a report about what Clinton said.

One of Clinton's primary tasks in Iowa and elsewhere is to reintroduce herself to voters who may know of her but don't really know her. She can't do that while being trailed by 200 (or more) reporters. Clinton won't ever lack for press coverage, so restricting the size of the press pack strikes The Fix as smart.

The other goal for Clinton during her Iowa visit is to begin building momentum in the state. Multiple polls have shown Clinton running behind former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), who placed second in the Iowa caucuses in 2004. But Clinton's advisers have insisted that her poll standing has much more to do with the fact that she has not been a regular visitor to the state while Edwards has made it his home away from home.

After a few visits, Clinton needs to see some jump in her poll numbers; she doesn't need to leapfrog Edwards, but she does need to show movement. She's already made one very sound move in the state -- signing up JoDee Winterhof as her Iowa state director; Winterhof formerly served as chief of staff to Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.

For more on Clinton and all the rest of the contenders for the Democratic and Republican nominations, make sure to check out tomorrow's Friday Line.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 25, 2007; 6:19 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Will Louisiana Gov. Race Hold Lessons for Obama?
Next: The Line: Can Any '08er Knock Off McCain or Clinton?


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Posted by: jmqf fwmv | February 15, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: jmqf fwmv | February 15, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: jmqf fwmv | February 15, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If there is any group that doesn't think of Hillary as a "liberal ideologue" it is the left wing ideologues.

I suggest that people may want to look at Hillary's first campaign for the senate. She covered every part of the state - areas where democrats fear to tread. Where F.D.R. lost big. And LISTENED to people.

Those who are ignorant of history are surprised by current events.

Posted by: Ron Cowin | January 30, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I think Gore would like to run but I'm pretty sure he won't. People would have liked him to take his revenge in 2004. Now, it's too late.

Posted by: Pierre | January 29, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I think Gore would like to run but I'm pretty sure he won't. People would have liked him to take his revange in 2004. Now, it's too late.

Posted by: Pierre | January 29, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I think Gore would like to run but I'm pretty sure he won't. People would have liked him to take his revenge in 2004. Now, it's too late.

Posted by: Pierre | January 29, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I think Gore would like to run but I'm pretty sure he won't. People would have liked him to take his revenge in 2004. Now, it's too late.

Posted by: Pierre | January 29, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Sam, I think the fact that Al Gore didn't carry TN and the south in 2000 says more about the south than it does Al Gore. Regardless, he is a different man to 2000 and I think the decision of whether he runs or not has the biggest impact on this race, both the primary and the general. If he runs, I believe he wins both.

Posted by: Aussie view | January 27, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Look at this story from Sunday's Wash Post:

If it is true that so many women just vote for who they LIKE or how they FEEL about the person, that is proof of why so many people are leery of women making major decisions in real life. Good grief, that is no way to be voting for a president. Yes, the Democrats make a dig against Bush, so what else is new? Hillary is just as untrustworthy, just a polarizing, just as divisive as Bush. Do we really want to have 4 years of HER? Geez, not me.
If Edwards won, fine and if Biden or Richardson won, I could live with that too.
BUT HILLARY? There would be millions on TV ads and radio ads ripping her apart and the middle ground would probably stay home.
Rightwingers? How about the people who just can't STAND HER? I mean, if women are going to be implusive in voting for who they don't like, then they will also unify for who they can't stand. Without Hillary on the ticket, the Democrats might have a chance. But with her, expect to see the most expensive and most brutal of elections that our nation has seen in a long time. If you thought Gore in 2000 had a battle on his hands, then BABY BABY, YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET.

Posted by: Jennifer from Iowa | January 27, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Gore, YUCK, he lost his home state and the entire South in 2000. Get a fresh face.

Hillary is also carrying a carpetbag full of scandals and corruption. Terry McAuliffe said she plays by the rules, what a joke. Her rich buddies think that she can just buy her way into the nomination with the help of Old Bill and his contacts. She would be nothing without Old Bill, and that is her albatross around her own OLD neck.

Posted by: Sam | January 27, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

great site

Posted by: [3!]mento | January 27, 2007 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Clinton supports the Iraq War.

Governor Richardson doesn't.

Why not check out his other positions at ? If you live in DC join us for a good conversation at

Posted by: Expat Teacher | January 26, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow (1/27/2007) is Hillary Clinton's first foray into Iowa as a presidential candidate. But it is also the 15th ANNIVERSARY of her national media debut, on 60 minutes. 1/27/1992. Hillary said: "I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette."

Posted by: Frank White | January 26, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

The Next Prez: Michael Bloomberg

draft michael dot com

Posted by: Joseph Oddo | January 26, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

No matter who the Dems pick, the rabid right is going to run nasty attack ads that stray wildly from the truth in an effort to win. So the fact that they are doing it against HRC now just shows that they are sticking to their game plan. Now that they have telegraphed their game plan so early, we should be able to effectively neutralize it. If we can't, shame on us. If HRC is not electable, then she won't win the primary, period. So lets not get all upset that she has decided to run. I say we should welcome all comers for the points of view they can contribute to the debate. The more highly qualified candidates we have in the primary, the better off the party is as a whole. If this line-up of candidates can't get people fired up and involved, I don't know what will.

Look for Gore to jump in late Spring or early Summer. he's going to sit on the sidelines and let HRC, Obama, and Edwards do battle, then walk in and steal the thunder. If you thought Gore running away from Clinton in 2000 was something, just wait until he has to run AGAINST Clinton. I cant wait. This is shaping up to be the best primary season in a LONG time. I am looking forward to hearing more from all of the great Dem Pres hopefuls over the next 18 months.

Lets get ready to rumble!!!


Posted by: PeixeGato | January 26, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Stop Hillary Now PAC spent $20,000 on TV ads running on cable in Iowa. The message is to get a strong GOP candidate or else we are going to be stuck with her and her hubby. Heaven help us.

Posted by: Joe | January 26, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse


I do not think it is the place of any reader to tell other readers to keep their opinions to themselves, as long as the opinions being expressed are constructive and relate to the theme of the thread. Your comment would apply to 99 percent of the posts on these blogs - as well as to 99 percent of the topics Chris raises.

But I do agree that William has contributed nothing intelligent to this debate.

Posted by: Robert* | January 26, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I imagine Biden is running for a 7th term in the Senate in 2008. He's an obvious Secretary of State pick though, and was mentioned often as such in the last election cycle.

There are polls showing Hillary ahead of Obama right now, and polls showing them statistically tied. Presidential polls this early are MEANINGLESS.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 26, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

To the person who thinks Biden will win the Democratic nomination: are you kidding? He's the Senator from MBNA; at the top of the ticket, he would represent a crushing defeat for the party. The grassroots will not support him. He's running for Sec of State or something.

Posted by: Sagacity | January 26, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Strange for Chris not to mention all the ANTI-HILLARY ads that will be greeting her arrival to Iowa. Just a reminder of how much anger there is against her. Even Democrats stated at Bill Clinton's visit before the election to Iowa that they may like Hillary, but they believe she can not win in the general. The Democrats need a new face and a candidate without baggage.
Who that will be is not clear.
Hillary has to get a base of strong support to get ahead of Edwards. Obama is also nipping at her ankles.
The charge of admission to the circus is sometimes the price people are willing to pay to get a look. $100 is a small price to pay to watch Hillary come out from Bill Clinton's shadow and try to stand on her own 2 feet.

Posted by: Joe | January 26, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

i will say once again that time spent - at this point, a year before the first votes - cheerleading for one vs. the other candidate is fun, but pointless. what are we going to do about Iraq? Iran? North Korea? China? nuclear proliferation? global warming? the deficit? the potential water shortage? the potentail food shortage? these are the key questions, not "is he / she electable? / a minority? / too shallow? / too divisive?" or "will he / she raise taxes?" At this point, we may or may not know who all the candidates will be, and we have no idea of the twists and turns the campaign is sure to take, so trying to predict them is a waste of time. We have real serious problems in this country which need real serious solutions, and the more we as a nation focus on those, the sooner the candidates will as well.

and to William, the Dauphin of Zouk: get back to your studies, young pup, and do not raise your head from your books until you have acquired some serious information that adults would like to discuss. name-calling only demonstrates to those who have a serious interest in politics that your opinion is not one to be taken seriously.

Posted by: meuphys | January 26, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Excellent browsing have the to

Posted by: [3!]mento | January 26, 2007 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Excellent browsing have the to

Posted by: [3!]mento | January 26, 2007 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Excellent browsing have the to

Posted by: [3!]mento | January 26, 2007 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Excellent browsing have the to

Posted by: [3!]mento | January 26, 2007 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Excellent browsing have the to

Posted by: [3!]mento | January 26, 2007 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, MSM -- you may want Clinton vs. Obama because it will sell, but John Edwards is going to upset your applecart. And Iowa will be proof.

Posted by: Vincent | January 26, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

"No one can heal this country and bring all people together like Senator Obama. He is the Abraham Lincoln of our time."

Oh please. Was that a joke?

You're delusional.

Someone give Biraq Hussein a parachute and everyone put on your hardhats and look out below because B-HO is going to come crashing back down to earth sooner than later.

Posted by: William | January 26, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem facing our country is that it is bitterly divided by partisan politics. HRC is viewed by many as a liberal ideologue. No one can heal this country and bring all people together like Senator Obama. He is the Abraham Lincoln of our time.

Posted by: Robert* | January 25, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

This is more relevant to the previos posting about Senator Kerry, but what the hey, check it out:

Posted by: GPPR | January 25, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is 19 points ahead of Obama today. Just wait-one day he will whiz right by her and leave her in the loser's dust.

Posted by: TruthProbe | January 25, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

i definitely agree with the governor's post, but somehow i can't see it happening.. from an emotional standpoint, i'm just not sure that al gore wants to go through all of this again.

the thing that i keep coming back to is how mark warner would have won this thing going away if he had just stayed in the race.. what was the scandal? stock-options? it certainly couldn't have been the "spend more time with the family" thing, because after he made that announcement, he spent three straight weeks on the campaign trail with jim webb (and thank god he did)

call me crazy, but as a betting man, i say that biden wins the nomination, with richardson as a vice. so much gravity between those two men, has to be to compete with mccain.

Posted by: Stuart | January 25, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse


I mean, it has to strike you as it has me, that Al Gore declaring he will run for President in the next few months or so, would turn the whole race on its head. It seems to me like this could be his time. He is a great alternative to the split created by Clinton and Obama. He has the resume, he has the name recognition, he electrifies the left but still keeps his centrist doctrine, he's from the South and it seems like he may have found how to talk the talk. And most of all, his campaign could run on the subliminal idea that this is a chance for history to right itself. To me, a Gore/Richardson ticket would be very strong and hold wide appeal.

I say this as a Democrat that is quite simply looking at our best chance to win in a very strong field of candidates but no clear choice for everyone.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Posted by: The Governor | January 25, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

Interview with Muqtada al-Sadr:

"A Secret Army Against Us, But the Shiites Will Know How to Fight Back"

by Renato Caprile [correspondent of La Reppublica of Rome]

He feels stalked and goes into hiding. He sleeps no more than one night in the same bed. Some of his most faithful allies have already turned their backs. He has even moved his family to an undisclosed location. Muqtada al-Sadr feels that the end is near. Enemy forces, forces infiltrated amongst his own people! Yet for him it is not about al-Málikí, whom he considers little more than a puppet, so much as about 'Iyád al-'Alláwí, the former prime minister, whom the Americans have never stopped aiming [to empower]. He ['A.] is the true director of the operation which proposes to wipe him [S.] off the face of Iraq, him and his Mahdi Army.

[Q1] How is it that al-Málikí, who up until a short time ago even saw to it that there were six ministers of your movement in his cabinet, is suddenly so aware that the religious militias, and especially yours, are the true problem that must be solved?

[A1] Between me and Abú Asárá [al-Malikí] there has never been much good will. I have always suspected he was up to something and I never confided in him. We only met a couple of times. The last time he said to me, "You are the backbone of the country," and then went on to admit to me that he was "obliged" to fight. Obliged, you see?


[Q2] The fact remains that he is on the brink of [?] unleashing an iron fist against his own people.

[A2] It is effectively unleashed already. Yesterday evening they arrested four hundred and some of my people. It is not we that they wish to destroy, it is Islam. We are only one obstacle. For the moment we shall offer no resistance.


[Q3] Do you mean you are going to disarm?

[A3] The Qur'án forbids killing in the month of Muharram [21 January through 18 February 2007]. So they'll do all the killing then. There is no better time for a true believer to die, Paradise is guaranteed. But God is merciful, we are not all going to die. After Muharram, we'll see.


[Q4] Some claim that the army and police have been extensively infiltrated by your men and that the Marines by themselves will never manage to disarm you.

[A4] It's really exactly the other way around: it is our militia which is swarming with spies. It doesn't take much doing to infiltrate an army of the people. It is precisely those people who by soiling themselves with unworthy actions have discredited the Mahdi. There are at least four armies ready to unleash themselves against us. A "shadow" about which nobody ever talks, trained in great secrecy in the deserts of Jordan by the American armed forces. On top of that, there is the private army of Allawi, the unbeliever who will soon succeed Maliki, which stands ready at the al-Muthanná military airport. On top of that, there is the Kurdish _peshmerga_ and finally the regular American troops.


[Q5] If what you say is true, you have no hope of resisting.

[A5] For all that, we are still who we are. [Commenter Christiane renders the foregoing as ""We are many, too."] We represent the majority of the country that does not want Iraq turned into a secular state and a slave of the Western powers, as Allawi dreams to the contrary.


[Q6] For a week now you have been officially targeted. The regime claims that without their leaders the religious militias are much weaker militarily.

[A6] I am well aware of it. That is why I have moved my family to a safe place. I have even made a will and I continually move around so they have trouble knowing exactly where I am. But even should I have to die, the Mahdi would continue to exist. Men can be killed, but not faith and ideas.


[Q7] It is said that you were present in the crowd at Saddam's execution. Is that true?

[A7] It's utter nonsense. If I had been there, they would have killed me also. As for Saddam, I'm certainly not going to cry for the man who massacred my family and my people by tens of thousands. The only thing is, I would have executed him in a public square so that all the world saw it.


[Q8] If you were not there yourself, do you deny that there were a lot of your men in that room?

[A8] No, they were not my men. They were people paid to discredit me. To make me look like the person really responsible for that hanging. Listen to the audio again, the proof is that in reciting my prayer they left out some basic passages. Stuff that not even a child in Sadr City would ever have done. The object was to make Muqtadá look like the real enemy of the Sunnis. And they're getting away with it. At a time when I have been received with full honours in Saudi Arabia! But suddenly after that show under the scaffold, my spokesman al-Zarqání, who was on the pilgrimage to Mecca, has been arrested. A subtle way to let me know that I am no longer on their list of friends.


[Q9] In any case, the war between you and the Sunnis goes on.

[A9] It is true that we are all Muslims and all sons of the same country, but they must first distance themselves from the Saddamites, from the radical groups, from men like Bin Ladin, over and above just repeating their "No" to the Americans. The only thing that will be enough is for their ulema to accept our conditions [and issue a fatwa against killing Shiites]. So far they have not done so.


[Q10] Perhaps there will be nothing but bloodshed in Iraq's future?

[A10] If the future is a country split three ways, I see no alternatives. And that is what Bush wants, so as to have better control. It is certainly not what the Iraqis want. In my opinion, there is only one possible way to arrive at a solution: immediate American withdrawal.

Posted by: che | January 25, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

It'll be fun to see her deal with her first question about Iraq from an average caucus goer. Deer-in-headlights.

Posted by: bayhforvp | January 25, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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